Director of public works James Nagelvoort (left) at the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee meeting. Courtesy of CityTV

A massive effort to create a multi-year plan to deal with the city of San Diego’s billion-dollar infrastructure deficit should be completed by November or December, the director of public works said Wednesday.

In a report to the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee, James Nagelvoort said he is waiting for facility condition assessments to be completed, to incorporate infrastructure expenses into a five-year financial outlook the mayor’s office puts out each fall, and for other city departments to update their service level needs.

Service levels for the fire department, for example, include desired response times to emergency calls.

Nagelvoort said departments have been given forms to fill out listing their expected service levels for various functions, which are determined by neighborhood plans, state and federal mandates, and industry standards.

“I will tell you, though, it’s coming together quite well,” Nagelvoort said. “It is significantly more work than we ever thought it would be, but we’re still very much committed to getting the project done.”

He said that, among other things, the department has conducted numerous public meetings over the past year and been swamped by thousands of suggestions of things that need fixing.

The infrastructure plan will prioritize road, building, stormwater and park projects over the next several years, determine their costs and determine financial strategies.

It’s a top priority for committee Chairman Mark Kersey and should help the city begin to address a backlog of work valued at well over $1 billion. A multi-year plan will also ease the budgeting process, because individual projects are often funded by multiple sources, with money actually coming in during different years.

“I don’t expect this to be a perfect document when we get it towards the end of this year,” Kersey said. “I would suggest that getting some good starting data in there — especially on service levels where we’re tackling something we really haven’t tackled before — that we get it in there and then it gets refined over time.”

The committee members voted unanimously to accept the report.

— City News Service

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